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Denver's Union Station. Photo courtesy of Sam Adams

6 Resources for Colorado Hospitality Workers in Need

Here are some public and private resources that will provide financial aid to bar and restaurant employees who are out of work or have had their hours reduced because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Government officials are currently hammering out a national economic stimulus package to help businesses affected by COVID-19, but if you’re a hospitality industry employee needing help now, there are options. Here’s a list of resources to explore:

One Fair Wage: This organization typically advocates for the end of the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, but right now it’s raising funds to give cash assistance to tipped workers and service workers affected by COVID-19. The goal is to give $213 (a play on the $2.13 federal minimum wage for tipped workers) to each worker who needs it. Go here to donate or request help.

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation: In response to massive coronavirus-related closures and downturns in revenue, this restaurant-centric organization set up a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund to benefit both restaurant owners and workers. Click here to donate to the fund, which provides zero-interest loans to businesses and funds for individual workers experiencing economic hardship. For help, go here.

United States Bartenders Guild Bartender Emergency Assistance Program: The USBG is taking donations to help bartenders experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. These grants are paid directly to recipients who have shown immediate need. (Note that you do not need to be a member of the USBG to apply for a grant.) Jameson Irish Whiskey pledged $500,000, and others are following suit. If you need help, apply here.

Unemployment Benefits: It can take four to eight weeks to receive benefits, but if you’ve been laid off through no fault of your own (i.e., the coronavirus), you may be eligible to receive benefits from the state unemployment insurance fund. You may also file for job-attached unemployment if you’re expected to go back to work within 16 weeks. Apply here.

Colorado Work-Share Program: Hospitality (or any industry) employers hoping to avoid layoffs can get government assistance if they keep workers employed but working fewer hours. Employers can split the cost to retain employees with unemployment insurance. To see if your business qualifies and to apply for the program, visit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment site.

ConnectingColorado.com: Did you know the state runs a jobs database site to help connect employers with their future employees? It does, and here’s where to go to upload your resume and browse current job postings.

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